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Tax cuts, supply, energy: Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance take different approaches to fight inflation

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Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance are set to face each other for the U.S. Senate seat in November.

The surging prices of goods, services, and gas has become a major talking point in communities and in the race for U.S. Senate where both candidates are touting different solutions to the problem.

Tim Ryan, U.S. Senate Democratic candidate and current member of congress, said there is a plethora of causes to inflation such as the war in Ukraine, the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and trade issues with countries like China.

Ryan acknowledges economic experts who say the solution can be found in fixing the supply issue, but he’s pushing for another solution in the meantime: a tax cut.

“We have to bring those jobs back home, create more jobs here with the supply chain. That's the mid- to long-term solution. But the short-term solution is money in people's pockets to ride out inflation,” said Ryan.

The Youngstown-area congressional district Ryan represents has grown more Republican, and that’s reflected in his campaigning, as he often sounds like a pro-Trump candidate on the economy. He wants a broad tax cut for working class families and said he’s “very disappointed” in the Biden administration for not moving on such a cut. Ryan also said the Federal Reserve was late to the game then “overreacted” when it finally raised interest rates.

“This is just a mess. So I just say stop all the B-S and just put money in people's pockets. Ride this thing out. And then eventually the inflation will take care of itself,” said Ryan.

“Tim Ryan has never defended a tax cut his entire life,” said Ryan's Republican opponent J.D. Vance when asked about the congressman’s call for a tax cut.

It’s not true that Ryan has never supported tax cuts, but certainly Vance does back them. And Vance also said a more comprehensive plan is needed.

“If you give, let's say, the average Ohio family an extra $1,000 a year because of a tax cut, that's great,” said Vance. “But if they're paying an extra $3,000 a year because of the inflation problem, they're not better off. And so you have to solve the underlying economic fundamentals.”

Republican candidates have talked up record-high gas prices in their criticism of Democrats. Vance said the main driver of the country’s economic issues is found in energy costs which have a ripple effect, from increased costs to shipping to high fertilizer prices for farmers.

“Every time that we decide to make American energy more expensive — and I do blame the Biden administration for this — we actually make everything else more expensive because it all depends on energy,” Vance said.

Vance said potential regulations on energy sources like nuclear or natural gas prevent the potential for new investments in the U.S., increasing the country's dependence on sources overseas, leading to higher costs. He said less regulations and more policy to build up the supply chain in the U.S. can especially help Ohio.

“If we were making more of our stuff, whether it's more energy refining, and energy exploration, or manufactured goods, a lot of times Ohio workers are going to be doing that stuff. And so you could actually make Ohio workers better off, bring better jobs to our state while simultaneously driving costs down for consumers,” said Vance.

Ryan and Vance have also touted policy that strengthens trade issues against China and encourages jobs to be created in the U.S. instead of overseas.

Both candidates have touted a tough-on-China stance and have encouraged job creation in the U.S. instead of overseas. Ryan said the country needs to ride out the rising inflation to the other side where Ohio is poised to succeed with the upcoming Intel chipmaking plant, a big supply of natural gas, and a burgeoning electric vehicle sector.

“We've got opportunity here. We just got to get this inflation under control. And I think Ohio could be really leading the country in the world and the next generation of jobs,” said Ryan.

As the candidates push out their messages to potential voters, they’re also fundraising in what is already the most expensive US Senate race in Ohio history. In the second quarter, Tim Ryan raised $9.1 million and J.D. Vance raised $2.3 million. But there are also super PACs raising money to run ads for and against the candidates.

Contact Andy at achow@statehousenews.org.
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